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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Releases > Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Fact Sheets > 2002
Fact Sheet
The White House, Office of the Press Secretary
Prague, Czech Republic
November 21, 2002

NATO-Russia Relations

At their Rome Summit in May 2002, NATO and Russia created the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) as a major instrument of an emerging, new strategic relationship. The events of September 11, 2001, have alerted NATO and Russia to the new threats of the 21st Century, challenges we should face together. In the NRC, Allies and Russia can work as partners for consensus-building, consultations, joint decisions, and joint actions.

At the Rome Summit, the 20 leaders approved a workplan for the NRC, a set of initiatives in areas including counter-terrorism, civil emergency planning, crisis management, and non-proliferation. The work of the NRC is centered on specific, practical projects where NATO-Russia cooperation can make a real contribution to our common security. The NRC is designed to be a mechanism for action.

Some of the projects undertaken or underway in the NRC include:

  • a completed large-scale civil-emergency planning exercise (850 participants from 30 countries) in Noginsk, Russia. The NRC is currently studying lessons learned;
  • assessments of terrorist threats to the Euro-Atlantic Area, including al-Qaida, and the threat of chemical and biological weapons from non-state actors;
  • experts meetings on the role of the military in combating terrorism; defining concepts for theater missile defense, including the potential for collaborative work on TMD systems; nuclear experts consultations; a defense reform seminar to assist new democracies in managing their transitions;
  • practical cooperation in logistics, air transport, and air-to-air refueling (an area of Russian expertise and NATO shortfalls in capability);
  • joint training and exercises focusing on the areas of peacekeeping and force protection;
  • cooperative airspace management.

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